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The Fall Festival 50: Our Wishlist For The Venice, Telluride And Toronto Film Festivals

by The Playlist Staff
June 30, 2014 3:48 PM
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“Life” (Anton Corbijn)
Cast: Robert Pattinson, Dane DeHaan, Joel Edgerton, Ben Kingsley
A story of the relationship between Life Magazine photographer Dennis Stock and movie star James Dean.
Last We Heard: Photographer-turned-director Anton Corbijn (“Control,’ “The American”) has already had one festival premiere in 2014 with “A Most Wanted Man,” which hits theaters in a few weeks, but that doesn’t rule out a second: he went into production on his fourth film, with a so-hot-right-now cast and intriguing subject, earlier in the year, and it was wrapped by February. Corbijn premiered “The American” in Venice back in 2010, so a return appearance there might be feasible, but TIFF could be more likely, unless the film’s held back for Sundance 2015.

“Get a Job” (Dylan Kidd)

Cast: Miles Teller, Bryan Cranston, Anna Kendrick, Alison Brie, Marcia Gay Harden
Synopsis: A young man and his friends struggle to find work during the recession, just as his father is simultaneously made redundant.
Last We Heard: It’s been too long since “Roger Dodger” director Dylan Kidd made a film (his follow-up, “P.S.,” fell flat ten years ago), but he’s finally back, with a youth-skewing comedy-drama with a very promising cast. The film’s been in the can for a while now, shooting back in 2012, but the likes of Miles Teller and Anna Kendrick have only become better known since then, so the time seems to be perfect for it to arrive. It seems pretty much tailor-made for TIFF, though we suppose there’s a possibility it might be held back for January 2015 and a Sundance bow if it doesn’t appear there.

“The End Of The Tour” (James Ponsoldt)
Cast: Jason Segel, Jesse Eisenberg, Ron Livingston, Mickey Sumner
Synopsis: Journalist David Lipsky accompanies novelist David Foster Wallace on a cross-country tour as he promotes his book “Infinite Jest.”
Last We Heard: One of the most curious films of the year, this sees the seminal post-modern novelist reach the screen, and in the unlikely guise of comedy star Jason Segel. Already disowned by the author’s estate, we’re certainly intrigued to see how things turn out, especially as the film’s in the hands of “Smashed” and “The Spectacular Now” author James Ponsoldt, and this feels like a natural fit for TIFF if the film’s ready in time (if not, Sundance would be the better bet).

3 Hearts” (Benoit Jacquot)
Cast: Chiara Mastroianni, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Catherine Deneuve
Synopsis: Rather “Before Sunrise”-style, Marc and Sylvie meet in Paris and wander around falling for each other. But after a subsequent missed connection, Marc meets Sophie instead, and they become close with Marc unaware she is Sylvie’s sister.
Last We Heard: Already apparently more or less a done deal for Venice, Benoit Jacquot’s film has such distinct French pedigree that we were surprised a push wasn’t made to get it ready for Cannes. Still, the mother/daughter team of Deneuve and Mastroianni, and Gainsbourg too means this is a Euro cinema royalty cast (even without Lea Seydoux who was originally slated for the Mastroianni role), and Jacquot’s last film “Farewell My Queen” was a modest international festival hit, even if we were cooler about it than some.

Queen of the Desert” (Werner Herzog)
Cast: Nicole Kidman, James Franco, Robert Pattinson, Damian Lewis
Synopsis: The true-story biopic of famous traveler, writer, archaeologist, explorer, cartographer, and political attaché Gertrude Bell who played a crucial role in the development of the Middle East at the turn of the Twentieth Century.
Last We Heard: This latest, uncharacteristically starry project from batshit genius legend Werner Herzog was one we weren’t too sure we’d be seeing before the year was out. But news that filming wrapped in March perked us up a bit, and now just last week producer Cassian Elwes (@cassianelwes) tweeted "Queen of the desert is a total winner. It's so beautiful and works on so many levels. Herzog outdid himself.” It’s hardly unexpected that a producer would be publicly enraptured, but it does suggest that the film’s in a fairly finished state and that it might well be ready for a fall festival slot. If so, hitting big-league Hollywood with Kidman, arthouse cred with Herzog and rabid fanbases with Franco and Pattinson, we can only imagine some sort of cage fight going on between programmers to decide who gets this one.

Untitled Lance Armstrong Project (Stephen Frears)
Cast: Ben Foster, Chris O’Dowd, Dustin Hoffman, Lee Pace, Jesse Plemons
Synopsis: Journalist David Walsh starts to suspect that legendary cyclist Lance Armstrong has been doping, and sets out to expose him.
Last We Heard: The first of the many Lance Armstrong-related biopics to make it into production, this still-untitled version is penned by “Trainspotting” screenwriter John Hodge, and directed by Stephen Frears, who had a major return to form last year with “Philomena,” with Ben Foster in the lead role, and Chris O’Dowd in support. Backed by Working Title, this could return to Venice, where “Philomena” was a big hit last year, but with Foster playing Stanley in “A Streetcar Named Desire” on stage in London until September 6th, TIFF is probably a better bet for this one.

“The Price Of Glory” (Xavier Beauvois)
Cast: Benoit Poelvoorde, Chiara Mastroianni, Peter Coyote, Nadine Labaki
Synopsis: In Switzerland in 1977, two convicts team up to steal Charlie Chaplin’s coffin.
Last We Heard: After the success of 2010’s “Of Gods And Men,” which won the Grand Prix at Cannes, most had tipped the new film from Xavier Beauvois for a return to the Croisette. But it wasn’t to be, allegedly because the new picture (a change of pace, in that it’s a dark comedy) wasn’t done in time. That means that a Venice bow is very likely, especially as the director’s 2000 film “To Matthieu” and 2005 follow-up “The Young Lieutenant” both premiered there.

Ex Machina” (Alex Garland)
Cast: Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander
Synopsis: A young coder at a global internet company wins a contest to spend a week at the remote retreat belonging to the company’s CEO/guru, but discovers once there that he must participate in a strange experiment involving interaction with a sentient artificial intelligence, in the person of a beautiful woman.
Last We Heard: We got a first look at this back in April, prompting us to wonder if it was going to sneak into a Cannes sidebar, but the “intimate psychological thriller” which was, according to star Vikander, “one of the best scripts I’ve ever read” didn’t show there, so must surely be primed for a big fall festival slot, especially as it’s already set for a January release in the UK. Our gut says TIFF would be the best fit, but writer Garland’s directorial debut, with a cast this hot, would be a feather in the cap of whichever fest got it.

“Phoenix” (Christian Petzold)
Cast: Nina Hoss, Ronald Zehrfeld, Nina Kunzendorf, Uwe Preuss
Synopsis: A Holocaust survivor returns home under an assumed identity to attempt to discover if her husband betrayed her.
Last We Heard: His reputation had been growing for a while, but 2012’s “Barbara” marked German director Christian Petzold as a major filmmaker. His latest sees him reteam with muse Nina Hoss for a 1940s-set period piece, and was widely touted for Cannes, but ultimately failed to appear at the festival. But this wrapped last fall, so unless he’s holding the film for Berlin (where his previous pictures screened), this should appear at Venice and/or TIFF.

The New Girlfriend” (Francois Ozon)
Cast: Romain Duris, Anais Demoustier, Raphael Personnaz
Synopsis: Based on an award-winning short story by British mystery novelist Ruth Rendell, the story is reportedly about a young woman who discovers a secret about her recently deceased best friend’s husband.
Last We Heard: We’ve found Ozon a little hit and miss in the past, and his last film “Young and Beautiful” fell a little more on the “miss” side for us, but he’s a festival presence to be reckoned with, and source material for this sounds promisingly spiky, so we’d be hopeful for something more in the “In the House” register. Venice or Toronto seem likely, as Ozon usually premieres at one of those, with “Young and Beautiful”’s Cannes slot being the anomaly.

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  • Hush hush | July 21, 2014 4:40 PMReply

    You should place some of your bets on San Sebastian who may rob some of your predictions to Venice....

  • benutty | July 7, 2014 1:39 PMReply

    "Isaac (widely felt to have been snubbed last year for an Oscar nomination for “Inside Llewyn Davis”)"

    not true; give it up, Playlist

  • Grapevine | July 5, 2014 9:37 AMReply

    Gone Girl will be the opener to the NYFF - it can't be the centerpiece or closing with an Oct 3rd release.

  • The Fanciful Norwegian | July 5, 2014 9:14 AMReply

    A few possibilities from Greater China: Wang Xiaoshuai's THE INTRUDER (finished shooting in late '13), Johnnie To's DON'T GO BREAKING MY HEART 2 and DESIGN FOR LIVING (the former is done, the latter started shooting in late April and should be either finished or close to it), Gu Changwei's LOVE IN THE CLOUD (due out in October), Alex Law and Mabel Cheung's A TALE OF THREE CITIES, Jiang Wen's GONE WITH THE BULLETS, part one of John Woo's THE CROSSING, Tsui Hark's TRACKS IN THE SNOWY FOREST. The last four are all December releases—for now, anyway—but should be ready in time for Venice/Toronto if they decide to take them there; I expect some will be held for Berlin or possibly Rome.

  • a m | July 4, 2014 1:43 PMReply

    Wow, so many of these sound really intriguing. That Herzog film, damn.

  • Miss Anon | July 3, 2014 1:36 PMReply

    Great list but how have you missed MAPS TO THE STARS (Moore, Pattinson, Cusack) or STILL ALICE (again, Moore, Baldwin and Stewart/Killer Films). Killer is known for producing festival darlings and Cronenberg is from Canada - I would hedge he even gets a gala opening night at TIFF (plus Moore won a Palm D'Or for her work in MAPS at Cannes). Seems like a glaring oversight.

  • Miss Anon | July 3, 2014 1:36 PMReply

    Great list but how have you missed MAPS TO THE STARS (Moore, Pattinson, Cusack) or STILL ALICE (again, Moore, Baldwin and Stewart/Killer Films). Killer is known for producing festival darlings and Cronenberg is from Canada - I would hedge he even gets a gala opening night at TIFF (plus Moore won a Palm D'Or for her work in MAPS at Cannes). Seems like a glaring oversight.

  • Gerard Kennelly | July 2, 2014 5:56 AMReply

    best supporting actress 2015 predictions

    Julie Estelle the raid 2
    watts birdman
    thierry the zero theorem
    rapace the drop
    farmiga the judge
    winstead kill the messenger
    green sin city dame kill for
    chastain interstellar
    rudolph inherent vice
    poots knight cups
    hoss a most wanted man
    streep into the woods
    Lorelei Linklater boyhood

  • Gerard Kennelly | July 2, 2014 5:50 AMReply

    best supporting actor 2015 predictions

    brolin inherent vice
    hopkins noah
    winstone the gunman
    oldman child 44
    bale knight cups
    thewlis the zero theorem
    brooks a most violent year
    shannon 99 homes
    kilmer untitled terrence malick project
    odowd calvary
    dafoe a most wanted man
    duvall the judge
    gandolfini the drop
    mendelsohn starred up
    shia fury
    hawke boyhood
    hoffman armstrong
    dehaan life
    farrell solace
    considine macbeth
    liotta kill the messenger
    norton birdman

  • Gerard Kennelly | July 2, 2014 5:44 AMReply

    best actress 2015 predictions

    chastain a most violent year
    witherspoon wild
    cotillard macbeth
    adams big eyes
    mara carol
    pike gone girl
    bissett welcome to new york
    woodley fault in stars
    rapace child 44
    mulligan far from madding crowd
    stone untitled Cameron crowe project
    hathaway interstellar
    johnson fifty shades grey
    portman jane got gun
    chastain miss julie
    cotillard two days one night
    bejo the search
    williams suite francaise
    mcadams a most wanted man

  • Gerard Kennelly | July 2, 2014 5:37 AMReply

    best actor 2015 predictions

    fassbender Macbeth
    fiennes grand Budapest
    crowe noah
    carrel foxcatcher
    boseman get on up
    hardy the drop
    depardieu welcome to new york
    affleck gone girl
    renner kill the messenger
    downey jr the judge
    keaton birdman
    penn the gunman
    oconnell unbroken
    phoenix inherent vice
    mcconaughey interstellar
    pitt fury
    cooper untitled cameron crowe project
    hoffman most wanted man
    depp black mass
    foster armstrong
    hopkins solace
    gyllenhaal enemy
    bale knight cups
    farrell miss julie
    sandler the cobbler
    hanks hologram for the king
    clarke everest
    garfield 99 homes
    isaac a most violent year
    hardy krays biopic
    waltz zero theorem
    pacino manglehorn
    oconnell starred up

  • colton | July 1, 2014 2:11 PMReply

    You mean KGB not MGB for Child 44

  • colton | July 1, 2014 6:32 PM

    Oh, sorry. Thanks for the correction.

  • kpkwrtr | July 1, 2014 3:14 PM

    No, Colton, MGB is correct given the period in which the author set the story. Officially known as the Ministry For State Security, the MGB existed from sometime in the mid-1930's to the early 1950's when the organization was folded into the newly-formed KGB.

  • tiana | July 1, 2014 8:23 AMReply

    I think still alice(based on best selling novel by Lisa genova) directed by Wash Westmoreland and Richard Glatzer could screen at one of these festivals and starring julianne moore, Kristen stewart,kate Bosworth,hunter parrish and alec Baldwin.

  • Sanker from India | June 30, 2014 11:02 PMReply

    Sorry for the nitpicking. I absolutely love this list after the superherocentric articles of recent times. It's actually trainspotting screenwriter john hodge, not author. Trainspotting the book has Irvine welsh as it's author.
    I love you guys! Will be referring to this list many times over the next few months!!

  • Jess | July 1, 2014 10:22 AM

    You're right, of course Sanker. We've corrected the slip in the text, and thanks!

  • BEF | June 30, 2014 8:55 PMReply

    Great list! I hope Michael Mann's film stays as "Black Hat" or anything else ... "Cyber" is so bad, the only ones that could be potentially worse would be "The Internet" or "World Wide Web"

  • ger heard ken L E | July 2, 2014 5:26 AM

    hemsworth in a techno thriller ??????

    PARANOiA was a disaster

  • mark | June 30, 2014 6:55 PMReply

    I really hope Inherent Vice is better than The Master. That was just a bad film. I heard mixed things about the script on deadline

  • Franka | June 30, 2014 6:43 PMReply

    Great list. So many potential films coming soon!

  • DG | June 30, 2014 4:41 PMReply

    Also I wonder if Inherent Vice will play surprise screenings before Venice the way that The Master did in 2011. I think it plaed after midnight shows of The Shining?

  • DG | June 30, 2014 4:38 PMReply

    Wtf is that pic next to the Inherent Vice synopsis?

  • brad pitt 54321 | July 2, 2014 5:28 AM

    online so far there are on set pics of

    joaquin phoenix

    pregnant nurse maya rudolph

    and an actor that looks so like river phoenix it is scary

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